Dr. Subhash Sharma

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Study Centre / Discussion Group Corner
 

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Share your experiences, observations, critique etc. on the ideas and participate in the discussion group. Contact us for starting a study centre or facilitating creation of a local discussion group in your area / region. Your observations would be included in this section. Creative output of the study centre / discussion group would be considered for publication, after a due process of review.

To initiate further discussion and dialogue, some observations, comments and citations on author's work are given here. These include observations by leading academicians such as Prof. S.K.Chakraborty, Prof. J.B.P.Sinha, Dr. M.B.Athreya, Dr. B.M.Hegde, Prof. Subhash Durlabhji, Prof. Kalburgi Srinivas, Prof. Rajen Gupta, Prof. Sorab Sadri, Prof. G.D.Sharma, Prof. R.Parthasarathy, Prof. Chitra Purohit, Prof. S.Shiva Ramu and others. Many others have communicated their observations through personal communications, e-mails and face-to-face interactions, etc.

Author's ideas have also percolated down to the level of management text books on Indian ethos, Business ethics, Managemnet principles based on value orinetation and holistic approaches, etc.

"… We also bring to our readers, Subhas Sharma's thoughts on the New Age Management, (Reminds one of Swamiji Shree Jitatmananda)".

- Editorial Comment
'AMA News', Ahmedabad Management Associatino, Vol.19, No.8, August 1991

 

"Sharma (1991) postulates OSHA model, in which the manager is depicted as transcendenting the Animal feature, cultivating Human qualities, and turning Spiritual in order to become One with the nature (p.53). this is the way according to him to realize one's Self (p.47) and to experience peace of mind (p.45)".

- J.B.P.Sinha
'Towards Integrative Indigenization: The Case of OB Reearch in India'
Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, 27(4), April 1992, p.339

 

"… We are delighted to have Dr. Subhash Sharma here (who will also be presenting his paper) and I hope he will continue to be with us in future conferences. He will be talking about the concept of inspirational motivation, something which I vaguely allure it to, not just the calculative motivation but an inspiration from within; from the divinity which is in all of us and a realization that we are underutilizing ourselves if we cannot find inspiration in life".

- M.B.Athreya in his Introduction
'HRM in Darsanas-IV: Ancient Indian Wisdom for Motivation'
Ahmedabad Management Association & Sankara Vidya Kendra, Ahmedabad, March 1993, p.9

 

"… Sharma has elaborately argued for 'transcendental management' by the articulation of transcendental values".

- S.K.Chakraborty
'Ethics in Management: Vedantic Perspectives'
Oxford & IBH, 1995, p.12

 

"Dr. Subhash Sharma draws upon the theory of gunas, tendencies influencing deeds. The three gunas are always stated in Indian writings, in their preferred order – sattvik (pure), rajasik (passionate) and tamasik (slothful). Dr. Sharma likens them to Spiritual, Human and Animal attributes. Ravana's rajasic vidya,, knowledge of worldly science, is inadequate in front of Ram, the maryada purushottam, the best among men, deserving of respect, with high satva. Similar to Ravana were the failures in self-development of Kansa and Kauravas. The energy of rajas, if driven by Sattva, leads to synergy (system energy). If pulled down by tamas, it can lead to what Dr. Sharma calls 'negergy', negative energy or what systems theory would call 'entropy', disorder. He advocates HQD, Human Quality Development. In our context, this would mean that each person should develop his inner, spiritual quality. At the personal level, the message of two Upanishadic injunctions – tamaso ma jyotir gamaya; and asato ma sat gamaya - is to avoid the deterioration of inner light into darkness and truth into falsehood".

- M.B.Athreya in his Foreword
'HRM in Darsanas-II: Ancient Indian Wisdom for Self-Development'
Ahmedabad Management Association & Sankara Vidya Kendra, Ahmedabad, June 1995, p.ii

 

"The search for innovative Indian Management theory revealed a volume of models in various areas of managerial style. A collection of these can be seen in the works of Dr. Subhash Sharma… Taught already in various forums to practicing managers these models are becoming a treat for the Indian Psyche. … Rich Sanskrit writings of the Vedas, Arthashastra, Gita and other great epics of Indian origin were written in the context of 'kingdom management'. These mantras have every essence of the current day human relations models in today's 'corporate kingdom'. The writings found in 'Western Windows and Eastern Doors (Sharma, 1996) are innovations from these treasures into modern day models for management practice. The OSHA model of managerial personality types is illustrative of this".

- Mary Mathew in 'Arrival of Indian Management: An Illustration'
Proceedings of the National Conference on 'In Pursuit of Indian Management'
organized by Indian Management Research Foundation & Supporting Institutions & Professional Bodies, December 17-18, 1998, held at Bangalore, p.41-42

 

"Taking a 'systems' approach to the analysis of Indian society, Prof. Subhash Sharma emphasized that the failure to view India as a 'Matrix Society' limits us to a partial and therefore inaccurate analysis".

"… Prof. Subhash Sharma coined a new meaning to the term 'HRD'. He said it signifies Honesty, Responsibility and Dedication".

- Subhash Durlabhji, 'Summary of the Proceedings of the Seminar and Plan of Action',
in 'Human Resource Development: A Value Based Approach, B.R.Madan, Thomas Cangan & G.P.Rao' (eds.), Pointer Publishers, Jaipur, 1999, p.176 & 178

 

"… Professor Subhash Sharma (1996) identified some ways of analyzing organizational behaviour in monistic and dualistic paradigm frameworks…".

- Kalburgi Srinivas
'Edukirtan: Management Ragas for Organizational Renewal'
Chinmaya Management Review, Vol.3, No.2, December 1999, p.31

 

"… The classification is derived from Dr. Subhash Sharma's chapter on 'Human Quality Development'. The aim was to see how the students fit into a path of self-unfoldment from mundane to spiritual levels acquiring ethical attitudes in the process."

- R.Parthasarathy
'Teaching Ethics in Business Management'
Chinmaya Management Review, Vol.3, No.2, December 1999, p.55

 

"Sharma (1995) provided an integrated framework for enlightened leadership. The following are the characteristics of an enlightened leader:

- An enlightened leader harmonizes vision, mission and action through HOPE (Higher Order Purpose for Existence) values and positive management approach.

- An enlightened leader combines both yang and yin qualities and thereby creates movements and performing organizations through people.

- An enlightened leader performs effectively in situations characterized by adversity and catastrophe.

- An enlightened leader responds effectively to radical and sea change situations.

- An enlightened leader is a drishta (visionary).

- An enlightened leader combines both leadership and management metaphorically represented by VEDA (vision, enlightenment, devotion and action)".

- S.B.Singh & S.Karunes
'Leadership Styles, Traits, Roles and Practices: Down the Ages'
Vision, Journal of Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, Special Issue 2000, p.27
Quoted from the paper 'Towards Enlightened Leadership: A Framework of Leadership & Management', Subhash Sharma, in 'Evolving Performing Organizations Through People: A Global Agenda', Proceedings of the Asia Pacific Federation of Human Resource Management-95 Conference, K.B.Akhilesh, L.Prasad and P.Singh (eds.), New Age International Publishers, New Delhi, June 1995, pp.209-214.

 

"… Sharma by drawing on both sources, has also formulated a number of models such as OSHA. OSHA model prescribes people to take cognizance of their animal impulses (A) but transcend them in order to cultivate human qualities (H), realize spiritualism (S) and ultimately become one with the nature (O). He argues that unless managers have a total quality of mind, how can the organization realize a 'total quality of management'. Such a mind is the reservoir of wisdom that is the synthesis of reason and intuition.

Although both Chakraborty and Sharma are basically purists, the former stands firmly in the Vedantic tradition and prescribes to restructure Indian management, while Sharma retrieves a variety of concepts to show that the modern management issues can be effectively addressed by the ancient Indian wisdom. He in fact goes a step further to contend that Kautlya Arthashastra (Kangle, 1986) for example, dealt with the crucial management issues well before they have surfaced in modern organizations. He (1998) further argues that not all organizations should adopt the model of commercial organizations. Indian society is an open matrix system in which the small and the non-corporate sectors should and indeed are trying out some of these spiritually oriented models of management".

- J.B.P.Sinha
'Integrative Indigenous Management in India'
Indian Journal of Industrial Relations 35(4), April 2000, p.448-449

 

Prof. Shiva Ramu's observations on Management in New Age: Western Windows Eastern Doors:

"Sharma has developed many models based on traditions such as the pure materialistics, the humanistic and the transcendental-value based. In order to link with the current management concepts, he starts with the taxonomy of management theories and their intellectual roots.

* Structuralist-Universalist: Taylorism mode of production theories
* Culturalist-Universalist: McClelland's Theory of Motivation, Weber's Work Ethics
* Culturalist-Relativist: Japanese Management, Confucian Ethics, Gandhian Thought Mode of Thinking Theories

In contrast to the above bases of management theories, Indian Management tools and techniques can be based on the following:

* Arthashastra tradition
* Vedantic tradition- karma yoga
* Shraman LIFO (LIberation From Oppression)
* Syadvada multiple persective
* Gandhian tradition (contentment)
* Commonism (social drive)
* Confluencism (sangam)
* Cultural Nationalism
* Osho tradition (original win and not sin)

New Mantras

There is an attempt to synthesize Western management tools with Eastern philosophy. Sharma has suggested new concepts such as:

* OSHA model of Human Behaviour and Action: Three gunas (spiritual, human and animal); the guna theory is the basis for total Quality of Mind (TQM). The guna dynamics are sattava guna, rajas with sattava, rajas with tamas and tamas. He also presents HQD (Human Quality Development) and TQM (Total Quality of Mind). This is concerned with good governance and good management at the individual, organizational and societal level. These lead to the idea of MIND (Manifestation of Infinity and Diversity in Absolute).

* SHE (Spiritualistic, Humanistic, Existential).

* SPOT (similar to SWOT, but it covers space and pace of opportunities and threats).

* LIFE (Liberation From Exploitation).

* MBA model (manas, buddhi and ahamkaar) is suggested for decision-making and interactive-cum-transaction analysis).

* Motivation theory is modified to NEEDS (Necessities, Entitlements, Empowerments, Desires, Self-realization). This leads to inspiration motivation or HOPE (Higher Order Purpose of Existence) which is more than self-actualization.

* VEDA – Vision, Enlightenment, Devotion and Action.

* SAR and RAS (Science, Art and Religion – juice)".

- S. Shiva Ramu
'Twentieth Century Management Tools & Techniques – Management'
Wheeler Publishing, New Delhi, 2000, 150-151

 

"… Even management gurus like Subhash Sharma Ph.D (Quantum Rope, 1999, New Age International (P) Ltd., New Delhi) feel that management strategies using the fall of the fittest would work wonders. This latter theory does not look at humans as resources but as creators. They could learn to live and let live. Wisdom = reason + intuition (Sharma) – A wise clinician should therefore be both rational, analytical and also intuitive and creative at the same time, medicine being basically an art based on scientific principles".

- B.M.Hegde
'Scientific Look at Science'
Bhavan's Journal, October 2001, Vol.48, No.6, pp.72-74
Also available on internet

 

"Dr. Subhash Sharma has added a new dimension to the existing model of decision-making. He has challenged the myth of rational decision-making. 'Rationality' is an attribute by which the present Western-educated generations swear.

Dr. Sharma's proposed model is based on the 'Cognitive Inference Systems'. According to him, the source of the system is Sankhya philosophy, operationalized by Patanjali in his book, Yoga Sutra…

Dr. Sharma terms the above model as 'MBA' model of decision-making. Here the three alphabets stand for Manas, Buddhi and Ahankar respectively. Mana does the preliminary screening of the information and also suggests alternative courses of action Buddhi, undertakes a rational analysis of the data, Ahankar interferes in the Buddhi's process of analysis…

Dr. Sharma's model seems to be quite natural and practice. In a society which is Buddhi driven, and tool oriented and 'individualistic' in character, the quantum of interference (as discussed above) is likely to be more and thus correspondingly reduce the element of 'rationality' in the 'rational' decisions".

- G.D.Sharma
'Management and the Indian Ethos'
Rupa & Company, 2001, p.111, 112, 113

 

"… Prof. Subhash Sharma (1996) discussed about six needs of employees in his 'Basket of Needs'. These are a) Biological needs; b) Economic / Material needs; c) Sociological / Social needs; d) Psychological / Identity needs; e) Political / Power needs; f) Spiritual / Self realization needs. This 'basket of needs' goes beyond Maslow's 'hierarchy of needs' and explicitly recognizes the spiritual needs of human beings in the form of longing for self-realization which is distinct from Maslow's self-actualization concept.

… Recent discoveries point out that a decision is not just the function of the intellect, but the total body, mind, emotions and the body chemicals. Prof. Subhash Sharma (1996) capturs this idea in his well known 'MBA' (Manas-Buddhi-Ahamkar) model".

- Neetu Jain
'Spirit At Work: A View'
Southern Economist, 1st July 2002, p.22

 

- Prof. Chitra Purohit, Director, Banasthali Vidyapith, in her Welcome Address
'Indian Management for Nation Building: New Ideas for the New Millennium'
Siddharth Shastri (ed.), WISDOM, Banasthali Vidyapith, Banasthali, 2002

 

"People constantly delve into the past for answers. The HR expert, very often, is no different in his approach. One instance can be found when The Book of Five Rings written by a relatively uneducated Japanese warrior in the sixteenth century is now considered to be business bible. Indian scholars, for their locus standi, rely on the Vedanta (Chakraborty, Sekhar and Sharma) …

Now, we ask, how can a person be loyal to a commodity? So the view posited above is either flawed or incomplete. What we state is that the knowledge worker is, (like any other professional), loyal only to his values. This position has been amply vindicated in the works of Chakraborty, Sekhar, Sharma, Balachandran and Sadri et.al., albeit from different perspectives.

Subhash Sharma of Bangalore, Ravindra Jain of Ujjain, Arun Sinha of Calcutta and N.K.Singh of Mumbai take a position somewhere in between the two polarities of Chakraborty and Sadri and justify the same in the name of eclectic pragmatism. It matters not which way one takes or which school a manager ascribes to as long as he is consistent in his behaviour. Of these, the work of Sharma stands out for its rational-logical approach.

The only other Indian authors on ethics who can be taken seriously belong to what we call the soul based thought and they are Theor Mathias, R.C.Sekhar, S.Balachandran, Ravindran Jain and S.K.Chakraborty. They deal with the trilogy of the heart-soul-mind and predicate their prognosis on spiritualism. However, all of them commit one fallacy. Some do this unintentionally … Others commit it intentionally but without realizing that the fallacy has been committed … They confuse the opiate of the masses with the high level study of metaphysics. Only Subhash Sharma treads the middle path delicately balancing his logic and sentiment".

- S.Sadri, S.Jayashree & M.Ajgaonkar
'Geometry of HR'
Himalaya Publishing House, Mumbai 2002, p. 451, 454, 498, 508, 509

 

"At the same time, it ought to be confessed, strange as it may seem, that there are hardly any original writings in India on spirituality and business/management". In footnote to this observation, Prof. Chakraborty notes "Amongst the very few Indian authors, mention may be made of Subhash Sharma's books: Management in New Age - Western Windows and Eastern Doors (New Delhi: New Age International, 1996), and Quantum Rope, Science, Mysticism and Management (New Delhi: New Age International, 1999)".

- S.K.Chakraborty
'Against the Tide: The Philosophical Foundations of Modern Management'
Oxford University Press, New Delhi,2003, p.83-84

 

"… Following the logic of Subhash Sharma suppose we were to replace the words 'great person' with the word 'great corporate' then we cold see how organizational character dons the garb of institutional charisma".

- Jayashree Sadri & Venus Chatterjee
'Building Organizational Character through HRIS'
International Journal of Human Resources Development & Management, 3(1), 2003, p.85.

 

"Prof Subhash Sharma states that to attain peace and prosperity in the modern world societies should follow the path of spiritually guided materialism. This is possible only when the 'modern prince' suffering from the 'pathology of rationality' which is West's gift to the world takes decisions in consultation with the 'modern rishi', recognizing the importance of spiritual and sacred aspects, India's gift to the world, in decision making processes. The integration of the rational and the spiritual, so achieved will lead to the establishment of sacro-civic society".

- Ipshita Bansal
'Management Concepts in Ancient Indian Psycho-philosophic Thought &
Their Significance for Present Day Organizations'
Popular Book Depot, Jaipur, 2003, p.6-7

 

"… Concept of character competence as basis for creative organization has also been introduced (Sharma, Subhash, 2002). This was given in view of the gaps between the statement of values and state of values in many corporate. While corporate pays a lot of attention to core competence but hardly pay attention towards their character competence. He has suggested that ethical sensitivity can be inculcated through development of ethics based management model with roots in character competence".

- Ashish Pandey & Nisha Pandey
'Transformation Through Values: Study of Indian Organization'
in Conference Proceedings 'Corporate Governance and Corporate Citizenship: Challenges for Business and Management Education', Association of Indian Management Schools, 2003, p.24

 

"Subhash Sharma: In recent years Sharma has also been incorporating Eastern-Indian psycho-philosophical concepts, theories and metaphors for throwing fresh light on a wide range of management subjects. For examples, he uses the triguna (three psychological forces of sattwa, rajas and tamas) to suggest a 'hierarchy of deeds'. He then conceives two broad types of leaders; divine and demonic. Linking these two with 'democratic' and 'authoritarian' leadership styles, a four quadrant leadership styles grid is presented. He feels that the 'ideal' leader will be 'Divine-democratic'. A 'transformational' leader will emerge from this quadrant. Sharma interprets this grid further in terms of 'negergy' (negative energy) – 'synergy' (positive energy) grid. The 'demonic-authoritarian' leadership quadrant will generate the highest 'negergy', while the divine-democratic' type will yield the highest synergy. He illustrates the typical leaders of each category by drawing upon major characters and epochs from Indian epics, puranas and history".

- Debangshu Chakraborty & S.K.Chakraborty
'Leadership & Motivation: Cultural Comparisons'
Rupa & Co., New Delhi, 2004, p.126-127

 

"… According to Sharma's OSHA model, rising above animalistic impulses by being humanistic, spiritual and thereby integrated into oceanic (cosmic collectivism) experience helped achieve 'total quality of man' without which 'total quality of management' cannot be visualized".

- J.B.P.Sinha, 'Indian Cultural Perspective on Organizational Behaviour',
in 'Emerging Asia: An HR Agenda', Rupande Padaki, N.M.Agrawal, C.Balaji,
Gopal Mahapatra (eds.), Tata McGraw Hill, New Delhi, 2005, p.282

 

"The first of Dr. Subhash Sharma's 'management trilogy' is 'Western Windows Eastern Doors' which presents innovative ways of applying principles of Indian philosophy to the assessment of human personality and defining a new approach to motivation. The application is centered around the potential in every individual for development of personality. The book exposes the manager to practical ways of ensuring justice and equity in transactions. A central element in the theme is the development of character and the creation of an ambience for an equitable assessment of people and for supporting them in their chosen path of self-development. The book stresses the importance of development of a mindset that would knead human values and respect for human dignity into business strategies. The book contains a good deal of lateral thinking for professionals to ponder over; take for example the chapter on the 'The Subaltern View of the Organization', there is probably no other book or article where the lopsidedness of top-down management is brought home so powerfully.

The second and the third publications in this trilogy, 'Quantum Rope' and 'Arrows of Time' are a poetic representation of the synergy between conceptual science, creativity and spirituality. There are several ways of interpreting these concepts and relating them to practical management. Since modern business of any kind is dependent upon technology as a prime tool, managers and other professionals have to ensure that scientific development satisfies legitimate human aspirations. Many serious thinkers have written extensively on the need for a reassessment of the benefits of high technology. Dr. Sharma offers an emotion-bound recapitulation of linkages between scientific concepts and mysticism. Poetry brings out the convergence of scientific genius and philosophy, and the complementarity of facts and values. This is part of an attempt to counter the distortion in interpretation of natural selection in biological evolution which has affected management attitudes deeply. Dr. Sharma finds it more fruitful to explore the convergence of thought on the sources of creativity (in science or any other domain) and spirituality than dwell on the apparent confrontation between science and the humanities. 'Quantum Rope' draws upon the similarities of intuitive experience between modern physics, spiritual myths and symbolism. 'The Arrows of Time' uses folklore and poetic formations to make the point. The power of poetic imagination to create an awareness of 'universal values' may be seen in two samples:

'When we see through time's vision
We see new cosmic regions
Through the window we see horizon
We see fission and fusion' (p.8)

'Time encircles itself
Like the serpents coil
It gets unfolded
In the farmer's soil' (p.36)

The purpose here is to show that the genius of India understands the linkages between the macrocosmic features and the microcosmic detail of reality. These are part of the Indian ethos which these philosophers draw upon to propagate a value-based management style. Time as a metaphor in management will appeal to people at different levels of personal development. Managers, administrators and planners may have professional horizons with different measures of TIME. Dr. Sharma's poetry highlights the interplay of content, time element and imagery between scientific, social, religious and spiritual divisions and touches upon the underlying nity that he perceives in them; the impact of his poetic imagery is scaled to the emotive and intellectual effort put in by a motivated reader".

- R.Parthasarathy
'Indian Management Styles: An Exploration – Emotion and Intuition the Defining Factors'
Vilakshan, Journal of XIMB, Bhubaneswar, Vol.2, No.1, March 2005, p.91-92

 

"… The third chapter (Management Subhashitani) is by another creative thinker in this evolving domain of knowledge. Subhash Sharma directs our attention to the rich sources of ideas in the form of scriptural and folk knowledge which has direct implications for management thought and practice".

- Reviewed by Rajen K Gupta
'Indian Management for Nation Building: New Ideas for the New Millennium',
Siddharth Shastri (ed), WISDOM, Banasthali Vidyapith, 2002

 
 

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